What brings out the worst in human beings?

The answer is fear. 
We live in a climate of fear in our nation. Every time we turn on the news, we see the worst playing out in front of us. Political division. Violent protests. Terrorism. Not only that, social media and other public forums are becoming an increasingly toxic place in which to attempt to address these issues. Though some voices are calling us to accept  and understand one another, they are often drowned out by self-appointed judges who punish those who dare to express a different opinion with verbal attacks and ridicule. Fear of being targeted by these firing squads causes many to withdraw from speaking their minds when it comes to controversial issues, even if their input is valid and inspiring. The worst isn’t just coming out in our “macro” social problems; it’s coming out every day in our conversations—and it’s all driven by fear.

More than ever, we need to grow in relational intelligence—to develop the attitudes and behaviours that create a safe place for people to be themselves and connect with one another. The central truth of relational intelligence is this:
Fear drives us away from people.  Love drives us toward people. Continue reading “What brings out the worst in human beings?”

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On Marriage and identity -thoughts on marriage equality

The union of a man and a woman is unique and different from any other. Just as the union of a man and a man or a woman and a woman is also unique and different. Neither of these are the same. Similarly with transgender unions they are unique and different. By the very nature and desire or design of the people these relationships are necessarily different. In these ‘alternate’ relationships there has been a choice exercised. Based on desire or design (as some assert)  some people choose to ‘live out’ that difference – in fact the difference is celebrated.

The journey of ‘identity’ is a struggle for all humanity. For some the roots of that are ‘nature’ for others ‘nurture’ or any combination of both. But identity is not only defined by sexuality – there is so much more that defines us.For some our identity comes from inside us, for others like me it comes from outside me, from a designer a creator.  Some would find that unlikely but for me that is a point of rejoicing, because my identity struggle is over. There is no question about my designer, my design or its purpose.

This too is a point of difference from others who by choice seek to find their own design and design purpose. I’d suggest that those who choose the latter elect to be different. I would suggest that we are not equal in the sense we are not the same.

To demand that all things be the same – when they are clearly not seems to me to be counter-intuitive and flies  in the face of the very thing that supporters of same sex marriage are trying to achieve through ‘marriage equality’. Our unions are not equal in that they are made up differently. Could there be equal or even greater affection between same gender or transgender relationship – without a doubt? But the unions are not equal , not the same by choice. By actively pursuing a particular identity and expression of it  difference has been created. Continue reading “On Marriage and identity -thoughts on marriage equality”

Fear Is Your Enemy

While God is not afraid of sin or sinners, most of us are. We’re afraid of people’s mistakes, and we’re afraid of our own. It’s no wonder our entire society, including our court system, is set up in such a way that fear and punishment are the solutions to bad behaviour. And as long as we operate out of fear, we will inevitably continue to reproduce distance and disconnection in our relationships with God, others, and ourselves. The cycle can only be broken by repenting from the lie that we can control other people and by accepting the truth that the must control ourselves.
As soon as you begin to believe this truth and stop trying to control people, you’re going to be confronted with a lot of resistance from the old normal. And it won’t give way to Heaven’s normal without a fight. Continue reading “Fear Is Your Enemy”